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While your invitation included a recommended application deadline, the NSLC operates on rolling admissions. We continue to evaluate applications as long as space is available in a particular session. Because many of our sessions will fill by late March, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible to ensure your first choice of program and session.

Click here to view our dates and locations. Sessions have space available unless noted otherwise.

Since 1989, The National Student Leadership Conference has been the premier provider of career-focused leadership conferences. Tens of thousands of high school students from across the globe have come to the NSLC for an unparalleled opportunity to meet with and learn from world leaders, academic experts and their peers. Each program helps students develop their own leadership potential while exploring some of today’s most exciting professions.

There are several ways in which students are selected to participate in the NSLC. Teachers, counselors, and NSLC alumni nominate outstanding high school students from across the United States and around the world. Candidates may also be selected from one of several national talent identification surveys, including the College Board Student Search Service and the ACT EOS.

Interested students who possess a strong academic record and have demonstrated leadership potential may also apply for admission to the NSLC on a merit basis.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis. As programs fill quickly each year, students are encouraged to apply for admission at online here to speed the application process and help ensure first choice of session.

The NSLC seeks outstanding high school students from around the world who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership ability.

Students must be attending 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade and maintaining at least a “B” average at the time of enrollment.

Program Length Tuition
Acting Intensive 18 Days $4,995
Biotechnology 9 Days $2,995
Business & Entrepreneurship 9 Days $2,995
9 Days $2,995
Entertainment Management 9 Days $2,995
Environmental Science & Sustainability 9 Days $2,995
Forensic Science 9 Days $2,995
Game Design 9 Days $2,995
Intelligence & National Security 6 Days $2,295
International Diplomacy 9 Days $2,995
Journalism, Film & Media Arts 9 Days $2,995
Law & Advocacy 9 Days $2,995
Mastering Leadership 6 Days $2,295
Medicine & Health Care 9 Days $2,995
Medicine & Health Care (Boston) 9 Days $3,195
Nursing 9 Days $2,995
Political Action & Public Policy 9 Days $2,995
Psychology & Neuroscience 9 Days $2,995
Psychology & Neuroscience (Boston) 9 Days $3,195
Sports Management 9 Days $2,995
Theater 9 Days $2,995
New York Experience (from American University) 4 Days $895*
*Group Transportation will be provided between D.C. and NYC

The tuition is all inclusive. It covers course materials, housing, on-campus meals, social events and transportation in air conditioned motor coaches throughout the program. Each student is responsible for the cost of travel to and from the program as well as individual spending money.

Yes, the NSLC is an invited member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. A copy of our Reliability Report can be found online at www.bbb.org by searching for either National Student Leadership Foundation or National Student Leadership Conference.

Unfortunately at this time the NSLC is not a member of the Online Reliability Program. Nonprofit organizations are ineligible for participation in this program at this time; however, we look forward to participating as soon as possible.

Students are responsible for the cost of travel to and from the conference. NSLC offers transportation private shuttle service between a designated airport near each program and the Conference Center on the start and end dates of the program for a minimal fee of $40-80 each way. Upon acceptance, you will receive a NSLC Acceptance Packet that will include information on the NSLC Airport Transportation Service.

You will need to complete the Airport Transportation Request Form in time for us to arrange transportation. An experienced staff familiar with the local area and airport will meet the students at baggage claim and then escort students directly to registration at the University or Conference Center via a private shuttle service.

Please note: Because of conference scheduling, students requesting transportation to/from the airport must arrive and depart within specific times. Please do not make travel arrangements before receiving your acceptance packet which will include detailed information about arrival and departure times.

NSLC is a truly unique experience. No matter which program you attend, you will gain essential leadership skills while learning about group dynamics, team building, goal setting, communication and conflict resolution. Additionally, you will gain a true insider’s perspective into a future career.

You will also enjoy exclusive field trips, engaging academic activities and discussions with national and world leaders. College admission officers find participation in the NSLC and earning college credit while in high school of interest when evaluating applications. The NSLC experience is one that our students say they will “remember forever.”

The safety of our participants is our first concern. Our Directors have decades of experience administering programs for students. The student to staff ratio is approximately 9 to 1. Our administrative staff, faculty and Team Advisors stay on campus with the students.

Male and female students are housed in separate housing facilities and/or floors. During the day, students are with their groups and supervised by our trained Team Advisors; in the evenings they have mandatory floor checks by their assigned Resident Advisor who sleeps on the same floor.

At the NSLC each day is different and varies by specific conference, but each conference does include several components each day.

For example:

  • Classes/Topic lectures
  • Off campus briefings and tours
  • Guest speakers
  • Simulations
  • Relaxation/social event
  • Leadership exercises/workshops

Please take a look at the sample schedules for each program to see more specific examples of daily activities.

All of the courses offered by the National Student Leadership Conference offer a college credit option. Through our unique partnership with The American University, NSLC students have the opportunity to earn up to three hours of college credit. Students who choose to take AU credit need to complete an AU Credit Application. This application is made available to enrolled students.

Students who opt to take AU credit will meet with an AU faculty member several times throughout the conference, beginning with a first-day seminar at 2pm on the opening day of their NSLC program (prior to Opening Ceremony). In order to receive credit from AU, each student will complete an assignment after their departure from the NSLC program. Click here to visit American University’s website for more information.

The AU Credit program is an optional component that is intended to supplement the NSLC program. In recognition of the scholastic aptitude and leadership merit of students selected for the NSLC, this credit is offered at a reduced tuition rate of $790 per credit hour.

Students enrolled in the AU Credit course will have special classes and workshops with their AU Professor, and will complete a college-level research paper in a subject that interests them. Students will receive feedback on their work from their Professor and will receive a letter grade for their class. Students find this portfolio of work to prove incredibly valuable in the college admissions process.

Cancellation Fees and Refund Policy All cancellations must be submitted in writing (email is acceptable). The following cancellation fees apply to all NSLC enrollments:

Summer Programs If Cancelled… Cancellation Fee
By April 18, 2016 $350 ($500 for Acting Intensive)
Between April 19 and May 16, 2016 $500 ($750 for Acting Intensive)
May 17, 2016 or later 100% tuition paid


NSLC will refund all funds minus the cancellation fee listed above. No refunds will be given after May 16th, 2016. Student Protection Plan fees for accepted students are non-refundable.

Instead of cancelling, you may elect to apply your total payments toward a program next year. If so, you will be enrolled in our 2017 Pre-Registration and sent an email in the fall of 2016 to select the program/session you wish to attend. Note: If you choose to cancel your enrollment and not attend a 2017 program, the cancellation fees above will still apply.

Note: If an application is rejected or if space in the program is not available, all deposits/payments will be refunded in full.

In order to provide the best experience for each student, it is necessary to limit the number of participants in any given session. Once enrollment in a session reaches its capacity, students will be offered the opportunity to enroll on a waitlist. Each year, a small number of students will cancel prior to the start of a session. Once a cancellation is received, the NSLC will offer the space to a student currently on the waitlist. Once offered a space, students will have 24 hours to confirm their enrollment before the space is offered to the next student on the waitlist. While the NSLC anticipates a few students will be offered spaces off the waitlist each year, there is no guarantee a space will become available.

It is not necessary to contact the NSLC Enrollment Office regarding your status on the Waitlist. If a space becomes available, the NSLC will contact you immediately. The NSLC highly recommends that students able to attend another session date that is open enroll in the open session to ensure their participation in the program.

In order to hold a space on the Waitlist, students must submit a $500 deposit with their application. If a student is not eventually offered a space in the session, or is unable to attend the program when a space becomes available, the student’s deposit will be refunded in full.